Belgian regulators demand Facebook stop tracking logged-out users

Published: May 17, 2015

“The Belgian data protection authority has told Facebook to stop tracking users who logout or those that have never registered for the social network.”

The Belgian privacy commission has told Facebook to stop tracking the internet activities of people who have not registered with the site or have logged out, after a “staggering” report showed alleged breaches of EU privacy law.

“Facebook tramples on European and Belgian privacy laws”, the data protection authority said in a statement. “Facebook has shown itself particularly miserly in giving precise answers,” it continued, adding that the results of its investigation were “disconcerting” and that it would take legal action if its recommendations were not followed.

Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgian privacy commission, said that the way Facebook is treating its users’ private lives “without respect needs tackling”, and that “it’s make or break time.”

According to a report commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency Facebook has been tracking users on a long-term basis who visit any page — be it a fan page, profile or any other portion of the site that does not require a Facebook account to visit — belonging to the domain.

The opinion published on Friday noted that because Facebook has the power to link internet users’ browsing habits to their real identity, social network interactions and sensitive data including medical information, religious, sexual and political preferences, it is in a unique position compared to most of the other cases of so-called “third-party tracking”.

[Source: The Guardian]

Via BoingBoing.

Web Design: East and West

Published: October 16, 2010

Web Design Differences: Asia and US

Hong Qu was one of YouTube’s first employees: he designed, programmed, and launched vital parts of the site such as sharing tools, user profiles and video responses. More recently, Hong helped develop YouTube’s localization strategy in Asia.

In a recent interview with SGEntrepreneurs, Hong said:

One key difference between Asia and US is that in Asia, the web is used more for entertainment, so websites have been traditionally more cluttered. Whereas in the US, the web is used for more productivity tools and so sites are usually cleaner to focus on the core feature.

Hong Qu @ SGEntrepreneurs

Hong also sees a difference between “sites generally designed in Silicon Alley (New York City) versus Silicon Valley is the greater emphasis on aesthetics from the NYC dwellers, being a hub for the creative (art, fashion, design).”